Entry guidelines

Our awards are free, simple to enter and are open to anyone involved in higher education in the UK or Ireland. The information below will help you to prepare your entry.

This year’s THE Awards focus primarily on activity during the 2019-20 academic year, so we expect the sector’s outstanding response to the Covid-19 pandemic to feature heavily across most categories. However, excellent work that was unrelated to and unaffected by the pandemic has still taken place, and our judges are keen to consider those entries too.

Please note that we are asking a little more of entrants for our Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category this year – check the Categories page for full details.

  • Entry is free
  • When preparing your submission, please review the category criteria carefully, then ensure that it contains sufficient robust information and shows key activity taking place during the 2019-20 academic year.
    We will accept submissions based on projects, initiatives or endeavours that commenced prior to the 2019-20 academic year, provided that core achievements have taken place during this main period of focus. We will also accept any evidence that has come to light after the close of the 2019-20 academic year if this further underlines success.
    In some categories the period of focus may be longer (this will be stated in the specific category criteria), but we still want to see examples of outstanding work during the 2019-20 academic year.
  • The judges will be looking for a good story, well told, and backed up with solid metrics.
  • All entries must be submitted online via www.the-awards.co.uk .
  • When the entry system opens on Thursday 8 April 2021 , please go to the Categories page and select the category you wish to enter. The deadline for entries is Wednesday 9 June 2021 now extended until Monday 14 June 2021 at 23:59 .
  • You must register on this website to enter these awards. Your details will not be shared with any third party, and will only be used by us for awards-related communications.
    If you have previously registered to enter our awards, you should be able to use those login details again for THE Awards 2021.
  • As well as populating the ‘Institution’ field on the application form, please ensure that, if applicable, you also enter the team/department name, project name or individual’s name in the ‘Nominee’ field.
  • When logged in, entries can be drafted and redrafted as many times as you wish – just click ‘SAVE’ any time you would like to exit an incomplete submission. Please note that if an entry is currently 'SAVED' (this will appear under 'TRANSACTIONS' in the upper left). You will need to click on the 'Move to basket' button before an entry can be submitted.
  • Submissions should consist of up to 500 words of text, specifically addressing the key criteria set out in the relevant category. You may also attach supporting documents. These should be no more than four sides of A4 in total (they may be printed out during the judging process). Please see below for more details about supporting materials.
  • If you wish to submit tables, graphics etc, these should be included within your supporting materials, not as part of the submission text.
  • We are also asking you to compose a shorter version of your submission (150 words max.), which will be published on this website if the entry is shortlisted. Here you will be able to see not just who has been shortlisted, but also what they have been shortlisted for, and others will be able to see a collection the best higher education stories of the year in one place.
    We are aware that some submissions contain confidential information, so please ensure that your edited version is something that you are happy for us to share publicly.
  • You may enter as many categories as you wish, but you must complete a different submission for each one.
    No single submission will be accepted in more than one category. Please choose the most appropriate single category for your entry. If you are unsure which category to choose, please contact david.suter@timeshighereducation.com to discuss.
  • You may also submit more than one entry per category where projects or initiatives are distinctive and unrelated. Otherwise, we advise you to combine the best elements of each in a stronger single entry.
  • Our judges often point out that some promising submissions are based on projects or initiatives still relatively early in their cycle, and that given a further 12 months their impact and success may be clearer. We are happy to consider a project or piece of work a second time, but please update the earlier submission and ensure you highlight activity during the subsequent 12-month period.
  • You may enter a project that has been undertaken in collaboration with an external public or private partner, but the award will be given to the winning higher education institution.
  • If your entry relates to an initiative or project carried out in collaboration with other institutions, the submission should come from the lead institution. In such cases, please enter “ <University name> in collaboration with <university name> ” or, in cases where the institutions are working under a collective banner or project name, “ <Project name> (<list all university names>) ” in the ‘Institution‘ field on the entry form, and we will credit everyone if shortlisted.
    Please note that these awards primarily recognise achievements at UK institutions, but we will acknowledge the importance of overseas partners in collaborative projects. In such cases, the entry should still be submitted by the UK institution.
  • If there is no lead partner intuition, to avoid multiple entries focusing on the same project, please agree who will make the submission on behalf of the partnership.
  • If your entry relates to a collaboration with an external organisation who you would like to credit, please enter “ <Institution>, in collaboration with <organisation name> " in the ‘Institution’ field on the entry form.
  • Entries can be completed by those working at institutions or their suppliers (architects, consultants, PR companies, etc.). If you are entering on behalf of an institution, please make sure they are happy for you to do so.
  • If you are an individual considering submitting an entry, although we do not require written confirmation or authorisation, we ask that senior management and marketing departments are made aware that your entry is being submitted.
  • The shortlist will be published on Thursday 9 September 2021 , with the winners being announced at what we hope will be an in-person ceremony at the Hilton London Metropole hotel on Thursday 25 November 2021 .

Supporting material

As these are downloaded for judging purposes, it would be appreciated if attachment titles could be kept as short as possible so that they can be opened easily.

  • Documents should be in PDF or Word doc format.
  • One or two sets of supporting documents may be submitted, but in total they should comprise no more than four sides of A4.
  • Supporting material may include photographs, tables, documents containing statistics, testimonials, supporting research, evaluation or inspection reports, press cuttings and promotional material. Please highlight any sections you believe are particularly relevant. PowerPoint and video files cannot be accepted; however, you may submit screenshots.
    You can also include full URL links to further relevant information (no hyperlinks, please), though judges may only access these to verify claims made elsewhere in the entry.

Any information submitted outside these guidelines will not be considered as part of the submission.

Entry form

For institutions that filter entries through a central awards team, as well as sharing the Entry guidelines you may wish to circulate these specific entry form requirements:

  1. Nominee or key personnel (if you wish to highlight the role of specific people)
  2. Submission title or project name (if applicable)
  3. Project URL of link to further information about your entry (if applicable – link will be published if the entry is shortlisted)
  4. Institution name *
  5. Submission text * (address specific criteria – strict limit of 500 words)
  6. Edited submission * (will be published if the entry is shortlisted - strict limit of 150 words)
  7. Supporting material 1
  8. Supporting material 2
  9. Upload institution logo *

* mandatory field

Additionally, in the Most Innovative Teacher of the Year category only, we are inviting entrants to submit resources for THE Campus, our recently launched teaching and learning practice hub. These will not form part of the awards entry so will not be judged. Further details can be found beneath the category criteria .

Your entry

We will send a notification email to the person who made the submission, once the shortlist is published on 9 September 2021. On receipt, please cross-check the quoted unique Nomination Code against the one in your original entry confirmation email, as it is possible that your institution may have submitted more than one entry in any single category.

The contact details you provide in your entry form will be used throughout the awards process. If these details change after the form has been submitted, please send your new contact information by email to THEawards@timeshighereducation.com .

Please also use this address if you have any general queries about our awards, or contact David Suter ( david.suter@timeshighereducation.com ) if you have any questions about eligibility, the category criteria, or the content of your entry.